x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Centurions make life hard for Indian bowlers

A rampant Sri Lanka took control of the first Test against India finishing the second day on 422 for four.

The Sri Lankan cricketer Thilan Samaraweera bats during the second day of the first Test against India.
The Sri Lankan cricketer Thilan Samaraweera bats during the second day of the first Test against India.

COLOMBO // Sri Lanka took control of the first Test against India finishing the second day on 422 for four as Mahela Jayawardene, Thilan Samaraweera and Malinda Warnapura racked up hundreds. Warnapura set the course for yesterday's action when he became the first centurion followed by Jayawardene and then Samaraweera as they attacked the bowlers on a batting friendly pitch.

At stumps Samaraweera was unbeaten on 111, while skipper Jayawardene scored 136 with 10 fours and a six after Sri Lanka had resumed on 85 for two. Warnapura had earlier stroked 115 with the help of 14 fours. Jayawardene equalled Don Bradman's record for the most Test hundreds at one venue as he struck his ninth ton in Colombo at the Sinhalese Sports Club. The Sri Lanka captain reached another milestone as he has now scored over a quarter of his Test runs, 2167, another world record at a specific venue, in 20 Tests at an average of 83.34.

Of his display he said: "It is a good wicket to bat on if you can apply yourself." He was dropped twice by Dinesh Karthik at 55 and 93, both off the bowling of skipper Anil Kumble. Warnapura was given a life by Zaheer Khan on a caught-and-bowled opportunity when he had only made 55. Samaraweera hit his seventh test ton and paid tribute to Chandika Hathurusinghe, the former UAE coach who is now in charge of Sri Lanka 'A' team.

He said: "I have changed my game and my attitude to scoring runs. Thanks to Chandika, who has helped me to change my game and attitude." The Indian paceman Ishant Sharma said: "We did not get the breakthroughs in the first session. There is nothing in the wicket." The review system came into play three times with India unsuccessfully challenging twice on lbw decisions against Warnapura and Dilshan, who was successful with his review for a caught behind.

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